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MSc Behavioural Science for Management

Course Description


Behavioural science is a rapidly growing area for policy and business with fascinating insights into human behaviour and wide-ranging practical implications.
This exciting, course teaches the core theory and methods of behavioural science and behavioural economics, and how these can be applied to important business and policy-relevant issues.
This MSc is aimed at students with a very strong intrinsic motivation to study the link between economics, psychology, business and policy. The MSc is taught by dedicated staff from the Behavioural Science Centre who have extensive experience in integrating insights from economics and psychology to address key societal challenges.
The MSc offers students the opportunity to gain advanced training in behavioural theory, to learn a comprehensive suite of behavioural methods, and to understand how this ‘toolkit’ can be applied to understand and inform the decisions made by stakeholders, workers and consumers.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time
- Duration: MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Michael Daly

Course objectives

The course aims to enable students to:
- Develop an in-depth understanding of the core concepts and theory in behavioural economics.
- Understand the relevance of subfields of psychology (e.g. personality, IO) to business.
- Critically appreciate the psychological foundations of key concepts in behavioural science.
- Develop an understanding of how behavioural science has been and can be applied to business and policy contexts.
- Develop the capacity to understand the role of individual difference factors in shaping responses to and behaviours in different economic circumstances and business settings.
- Become proficient in carrying out statistical analyses (e.g. OLS, probit regression) using standard software.
- Understand the role of experiments in identifying decision processes and enabling behaviour change
- Design behavioural experiments and understand key issues involved in conducting and drawing conclusions from behavioural experiments.
- Understand methods of measurement and how the are employed across key domains in behavioural science (e.g. personality, preferences, well-being, health).
- Become aware of the data sources available to researchers in behavioural science and how best to utilise these resources to study business and policy-relevant issues
- Critically appreciate the complex conceptual, design, and statistical issues involved in testing causality in behavioural science.
- Develop, present and communicate arguments clearly and logically both in writing and orally.
- Develop an appreciation of unfolding trends in the behavioural science and behavioural economics literatures and to gain key insights from leading experts in the field.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 7.0 with minimum 6.0 in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade B
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade A
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 67 with a minimum of 55 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 100 with no sub test lower than 20

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

You have an active role in your learning experience. Delivery includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, article discussion groups, and presentations, followed by a three-month dissertation period. Assessment is by a mixture of examination and coursework, including written assignments and presentations. Successful completion of the taught element of the programme leads to the award of the Diploma or allows you to continue for the award of the MSc by completing a 15,000-word dissertation based on an original research question agreed by yourself and your supervisor. The project should reflect your own understanding and knowledge of selected topics learnt during taught modules.

Career opportunities

On completion of this course students will be ready and able to contribute innovative solutions to many businesses, governments and society.
The specialist knowledge they acquire in behavioural science will be invaluable in building long-term careers in business (e.g. human resource management, advertising, regulation, consumer marketing, social marketing and survey research) and those who wish to inform the design and implementation of public policy.
The course also provides an excellent entry for those thinking of progressing to doctoral research in this area.

Industry demand for skills

- Policy: The Cabinet Office has a Behavioural Insights team, which draws on insights from the growing body of academic research in the fields of behavioural science and psychology. The concepts and methods employed by the Behavioural Insights team are now being adopted in other countries and amongst those involved in policy implementation more generally.

- Marketing and Market Research: Key skills desired in marketing and market research include the ability to apply behavioural theory and methods to understand product pricings, promotion, and consumer perceptions. Part of this involves the understanding of the characteristics of customers, so that they can be grouped and targeted in customised ways.

- Human Resources: There is a demand for skills within organisation development, organisation design, resourcing and talent development as well as employee engagement within the HR environment.

- Survey Research: Government, state agencies, and businesses have demonstrated a strong demand for high quality survey data. Companies delivering this service seek sophisticated survey operations skills including knowledge of data collection modes, survey design, survey completion behaviour, formatting, quality control, and distribution.

- Business: Business and management careers now place increasing value on the capacity to apply behavioural insights to business challenges and to gather evidence using experimental methods.

Visit the MSc Behavioural Science for Management page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Fionnuala O'Reilly

What influenced you to choose Stirling Management School to study your course?
I was interested in studying Behavioural Economics; the Behavioural Science centre at Stirling is fast becoming one of the leading research institutes in this area.

What are the benefits you found as a result of studying at Stirling?
- The MSc in Behavioural Science for Management is an excellent course; it covers a broad range of topics delivered by committed and interested lectures and support staff.
- The University of Stirling offers good facilities in a very picturesque area.

What specific feature(s) did you like most about the course?
- The staff of the Behavioural Science Centre are very dedicated, encouraging and supporting students not only with course work but with job applications, interview preparation as well as the development of their own research skills.
- The course covers an extensive range of topics; students gain from having insight into many different domains of Behavioural Science from behavioural medicine to policy applications to experimental design. Moreover, the research methods courses provide students with the tools to carry their own research.

What advice would you give to prospective students considering coming to Stirling?
The MSc in Behavioural Science for Management is an excellent course which provides a solid foundation in the field of Behavioural Economics. It equips students with valuable skills applicable to many different occupational domains including research, policy and marketing.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
- This is an intensive course but is well worth the time and effort especially for those wishing to pursue career in this area. Students have access to a wide variety of research topics being covered by the members of the Behavioural Science Centre.
- The weekly and monthly seminars that are arranged by the centre provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn how Behavioural Science is being applied in different domains.
- MSc students are well integrated into the centre and have the opportunity to work and develop their own research with the help and guidance of centre members.
- I would highly recommend this course.

(Student Profile)

David Bish

What influenced you to choose Stirling Management School to study your course?
The people. The Behavioural Science for Management course attracts a diverse range of top quality researchers who really care about their students. The staff at the Behavioural Science Centre have pushed me not only to perform well in exams, but also to develop so that I continue to achieve after I graduate.

What are the benefits you found as a result of studying at Stirling?
The course I was involved in attracted a large number of high calibre applications from a variety of disciplines. This has challenged me not only to perform well in assessment but also to consider a variety of different viewpoints and expand the knowledge I gained from my undergraduate economics degree. The diversity in knowledge was complimented by a teaching style that encouraged students to discuss and develop their own ideas rather than solely relying on the lecturer for opinion.

What impact to you think your studies have had on your future career?
I believe that the course has given me the tools to advance in my chosen field. I now have a thorough understanding of a large body of information pertaining to a number of disciplines and have been trained in the statistical and experimental software that I will use in my future career. As a relatively young postgraduate student it is imperative that I have these types of skills in order to contend with other applicants who may have more experience than me, and these are skills which Stirling has given me.

(Student Profile)

Aisling Ni Chonaire

What influenced you to choose Stirling Management School to study your course?
Primarily the calibre of the teaching staff, as well as the scholarship opportunities.

What are the benefits you found as a result of studying at Stirling?
There are so many to choose from! The small class allows you to get to know the lecturers and teaching staff a lot better. The courses provided are really interesting and also multifaceted, such that assessments cover many different areas such as policy reports, presentations, group projects, experimental design, analysis and much more. The course also allows you to delve deeper into your own specific interests as well as broadening your knowledge of other areas. In practical terms, the campus is beautiful, the cost of living is very reasonable and there are lots of places to visit in and around the campus.

What specific feature(s) did you like most about the course?
The variety of the assessments, although the course work is heavy, you do develop a strong work ethic. I find that it doesn’t feel taxing because the topics are so interesting and students are given the opportunity to build on their own respective interests. A really practical skill that I learnt from this year is to feel comfortable and confident public speaking and giving presentations.

What advice would you give to prospective students considering coming to Stirling?
The more you put into the course, the more you will get out of it. Be proactive about learning and researching, and never be afraid to ask for advice or to share your ideas.

What impact do you think your studies will have on your future career?
Having secured an Assistant Advisor position with the Behavioural Insights Team, the MSc has already proved its worth and quality. I will be working with the research team within BIT, who are responsible for the design, implementation and analysis of the randomised control trials within the organisation.


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £6,000; Overseas £13,500

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